EU pension fund liability soars to €122 billion

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readOct 26, 2022


The European Union’s pension commitment for former European Commission officials has climbed by more than €6 billion since 2020 to €122.5 billion due to indexing salary payments in line with inflation in some EU countries, it has emerged.

This figure includes the pension entitlements and healthcare costs for 36,000 EU employees, both active and retired, along with their surviving dependents.

As reported by Germany’s Bild newspaper, calculations by the European Commission saw the salaries of EU officials rise by around 7 per cent, an increase that will be enforced retroactively as of July 1 — the rise sees Commission President Ursula von der Leyen taking home approximately an extra €2,000 per month, while MEPs and EU commissioners will receive an extra €623 and €1,460, respectively.

This salary bump comes despite the majority of salaries across the bloc not being linked to inflation and many millions struggling due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The many reasons for the salary hike and, consequently, the increase in pensions for EU officials is due to domestic rules in Belgium and Luxembourg, which both automatically index employee salaries to inflation, albeit against the European Commission’s own advice to governments and that of labour group representatives. In what is seen as a hypocritical move, the EU is proceeding with a big pay increase to take care of its own

European Union officials, including the European Commission president, commissioners, and MEPs, can now look forward to significantly higher salaries. However, the twist in the story is that the pay wages actually go against the European Commission’s own advice on the matter of pay raises.

What critics say is another example of, “Do what I say, not as I do,” the EU commission has historically advised governments and the heads of labour and managerial organizations to avoid raising wages in the face of inflation. The commission’s advice on wage-setting is that nations and companies should avoid indexing wages to inflation, as that practice creates the conditions for a wage-price spiral and creates the conditions for further inflation,

In response, nearly all EU countries no longer take part in the practice, with the exception of Belgium and Luxembourg.

The EU now claims that its own wage hikes are justified due to rising inflation in Belgium and Brussels. The inflation rate is automatically included in the salaries of EU officials. For Brussels, it currently stands at just over 7 per cent.

According to the European Commission’s plans, EU officials will receive almost 7 per cent more pay. The salary increase is to apply retroactively to July 1, reports Germany’s Bild newspaper.

In concrete terms, this means that Commission head Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) will receive around €2,000 more per month in the future, while an MEP will receive €623 more, and an EU commissioner can count on a salary increase of €1,460. The increase alone will account for an extra €98 million in spending for 2022.

As Remix News has previously reported, many wealthy EU officials and politicians have advocated for more sanctions on Russia, saying Europeans can make “sacrifices” to support Ukraine, such as left-wing MEP Guy Verhofstadt, reportedly one of the wealthiest MEPs in the entire EU. Despite his enormous wealth, he will also be benefitting from a wage hike that will increase his already substantial salary.

In addition to high salaries, EU officials have numerous other privileges. For example, they receive expatriation allowances, a high child allowance, furniture allowances, and a household allowance.



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.